congrats on the new glass. :)
I am not touting my skill as a photographer. I really do not have to ... "I'm just a student" with a kick-ass bag of glass. :p I'll crank out something worthwhile ... one day.
To be honest, there has been no money at this, except for a couple newspaper shots I did. It was educational, but hardly lucrative. Call it, "a labor of lens lust." Eventually, it is my hope to finally deliver that "killer' image ... that makes the other artists salivate. Believe me, that is a noble desire to have, because you need motivation when things get slow or, even worse, too busy to think!
I am sure you all realize what I am saying ... and, as always, GET THE SHOT!
One thing is for sure, the sling bag got heavier and the lens count ... the same!
Tonight is a portrait shoot unlike any I have attempted in the past. This one will be attempted with the lights in a degraded storm (I hope).
Tonight is "National Night Out against Crime," which is a Police event going on throughout the United States. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, Mother Nature planted a huge rain storm just about on top of it, today. That may lower the crowds attending, but it also means I may get more time with the subjects.
Anyway, I'm going for it! Wish me luck ... I may need it more than I would like. :eek:
Okay ... the shoot is ... blessedly over. The weather held! Yeah, baby! The "well-wishing" must have helped, because it looked rather grim.
What an incredible play with lighting as the Sun went down from 6PM to 9:30PM ... the sun is a tough powerhouse to try and get "controlled" lighting out of, which is the point of this assignment.
I am still processing shots ... but, one of the better portraits was the Chief of Police with his squad ...
and then one with him and two officers using the new ATVs that have been added to the Des Plaines vehicle fleet
Anyway, did a finale shot ... which was the most fun.
α850 w/ SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX HSM IF
@ 26mm - f/5.6 - 2.5 sec - ISO-200 - Spot Meter - Hot lights and amber gel on strobe - Manual Mode - Tripod - HDR
After three hours of this effort, as I finished, I don't think I had a dry spot on my person ... nor did the other student who provided lighting support, due to the intense humidity we were fighting, due to the earlier rain. Thank goodness the rain stopped around 2PM and did not return, as it all went south for the night.
I really like the second shot with the ATVs. In my humble opinion, that one is ad quality.
On the last one, which HDR merge program did you use? Good job at keeping it natural.
I used the standard Photoshop CS4 "Merge to HDR" ... and when you do HDR with flash support ... you pay with some varied and rather unusual results, on occasion. I have found several spectral anomalies, if you will, when layering +/2 Ev exposures. I'm not even sure why it is happening ... but, I must say that it is teaching me things I had no idea would be a problem when doing HDR work.
Looking back at the bottom image, I do note lower lights on the center truck and the reflection on the ground have a magenta color cast to them. Also, the "Fire" and stripe on the doors has a more orange look. Not sure if it was a pure fire engine red and the HDR coloration is off or if it was that same color.
Great job on all of these.
As for that magenta color of the front lights ... that was rather strange to see.
Again, this was to be a "portrait shoot", so I suppose a portrait shot might be in order ...
EXIF: α850 w/ SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX HSM IF
@ 30mm - f/8 - 1/100 sec - ISO-200 - Spot Meter - Spot Focus - Lighting: Outdoor Studio Flash - Manual Mode - CROP
@ Frank - Thanks for the supportive comment, Frank. I push on the shutter release and these just ... fall out. Like any of today's "great thinkers" with their P&S cameras.
The entire shoot can be found at the LINK.
One of the aspects I feel we tend to forget about when we look at DOF as a consideration, is how much is enough?
Let's say your area of interest is 3 inches wide and 8-feet away. On a FF DSLR, with a 400mm lens at f/5.6 ... your DOF is a mere 0.03-feet or 3/8 inch. No, that's not 3-inches. It is not even close. At that aperture, most of your subject in the three targeted inches is going to be OOF. SO, what setting do we have to narrow the aperture to in order to get the required three-inch wide DOF?
See a problem here? To be quite honest, at f/32 ... I kind of doubt you would see much of anything, as you would need a grunch of light or allow for serious high-ISO noise to successfully carry off an f/32 exposure. This way dark for almost any lens. Some cannot even deliver that aperture, limited to f/22 or even f/16 as their tightest setting.
If we used a 135mm lens ... to get the desired 3-inches @ 8-ft ... the aperture would only be f/4.5. The big issue about that is that due to the 3x less focal length, our image is three times smaller at the same distance, but then again, look at all the light we saved! I know, I know, crop like the devil, right? Hey, if you have a Full Frame, you probably could!
Admittedly, if you went with a 200mm shot, getting that 3-inch wide focal plane would require an aperture of f/8. That is still a trifle dark, indoors. Your flash would be pushing it, but it is doable. Because the frame is only half the size of the 400mmm shot, your crop would be that much larger. These are things to consider with the use of your 70-300mm f/4-5.6 standard telephoto lens ... when trying to achieve a well-calculated focus.
Normally, when you are doing a portrait, when focused on the eyes, 1-foot of DOF is usually enough to get the body. If the person is sitting, then you have to consider the hand locations, because if they are ouit of focus, it tends to look a little odd, so you might want to spread that DOF out a bit more. Again, a sharp focus must be made with the eyes, when close.
One of the instructors I have run into does not want shallow DOF imaging, which means the use of dark lenses is ... okay. I, of course, have an argument with that, as getting an artistic focus out of a wide aperture is something I find more ... substantive. Also, as I have pointed out, tightening down on the aperture says one thing ... "more light will be required, thank you." Indoor flash shooting is limited to 1/60 sec flash sync ... slower than that, the ambient lighting begins to show up. Also, subject movement is far more likely. People tend to blink after a blinding flash.
Since most students cannot afford such PRIME lensing, the rationale stands that they simply cannot acheive this kind of tight focal plane image and such a request for non-shallow DOF would be, by default ... popular?
In fact, on your APS-C DSLR, if your 100mm lens is limited to f/5 at 10-feet ... your DOF is 7 full inches. Who's going to be worrying about that? The whole face is in focus, even the ears. On a Full Frame, the DOF with the same lens widens to 10 full inches.
So, the argument becomes ... if you cannot achieve it, why put a constraint on it? Only "brighter" (<f/4) or super telephoto lenses are going to give you shallow DOF. There are days ... where some of these things are contrary to the real argument, which seems to be justifying low level equipment.
If you come with high-performance gear ... I would imagine you came to PLAY! Your desire is for the "edginess" these exotic optics offer. The sheer costs involved could mean nothing less. :p
School is school, but I have learned more.